Electronic Arts is partnering with a number of firearms manufacturers for Medal of Honor: Warfighter - is this a step too far?
There are some interesting facets of Medal of Honor: Warfighter that aren't really being talked up a lot locally. Sure, we get all the hype about the game, and its international focus. We get trailers and screens, and yes, even folks like me talking about how much fun the game is.
But until today, I wasn't aware of just how tightly partnered the game and developer Danger Close and publisher EA are with actual gun manufacturers.
I discovered the link in this excellent article at the AV Club's Gamelogical Society, and it's worth reading. Here in Australia, with our rather more stringent gun laws, it's almost a non-issue, but in the US, where gun-violence seems to be on the rise (which, given it's always been there, is HELLA-scary), it's a touch... disturbing.
The crux of the issue is how easy it is to link the in-game use of firearms to direct purchase of same. With just a few clicks you can go from the Medal of Honor site, to its 'partners' page, where Greg Goodrich himself talks up various arms manufacturers, and then start ordering the exact same weapons.
In same cases, the weapons are even Medal of Honor branded.
Like the author of the article, I just don't know what to think about this; I'm conflicted. I loves me a good military shooter. I devour crappy films like Act of Valor (it was an international flight!), and in most roleplaying games I'll generally play some kind of soldier. But I've always known there's a good seperation between make believe and real violence.
Yet this kind of cooperation between game-maker and gun-maker seems to cross a line. It goes, I think, even further than games like America's Army - at least that game is about properly introducing people to military service, where you get actual proper training. This move of EA's seems devoid of any kind of responsibility around guns and gun-violence. In fact, Goodrich's own blurbs on the partnerships are almost obscenely gushing.
"I first saw the completed CS5 late last year and was blown away. The mere idea that its design stems from the need for a compact, concealable and suppressed .308 capable of consistently holding 3/4 MOA is impressive. The fact that it will consistently repeat this performance with 200 grain subsonic ammo AFTER being assembled (in less than a minute) from a backpack is awe inspiring."
Anyone who's seen Goodrich in full flight on Medal of Honor knows he loves this stuff, but that reads more like advertising copy, making him, Danger Close, and Electronic Arts come across as, well, implicit.
It just seems a but too much to me. And, yes, I probably would buy that tomahawk...